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View Full Version : Enoka Lucas a better prospect than Studdard ?


nunusguy
05-10-2007, 09:43 AM
04/15/07 - 2007 All-Rang's Gang Team: Enoka Lucas, Oregon: Interior linemen, especially centers, tend to drop a bit come draft day. While this certainly won't make Lucas (or his agent) happy, it will almost surely lead to some NFL team finding itself a considerable steal on the draft's second day. Lucas is the prototypical center -- short, squatty, fiery, and a leader. The 6-3, 305 pound Lucas is the school record holder with a 455 pound bench press and though this strength translates well onto the field, Lucas' technique and leverage are the assets that make him most effective in the pivot. A two-time team captain, Lucas has the look of a player who scrapes out a decade-long NFL career.
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/profile.php?pyid=15280
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Brandon Frye looks to have the potential as an OT for the Texans, atleast at RT if not on the left side.
But inside at guard-center area Enoka Lucas, even though an UFA, may actually be a better prospect than Kubiaks long-time family friend Kasey Studdard, who was drafted in the 6th round by the Texans.
Unlike Frye, neither player hardly has the kind of athletic profile you'd look for in a Zone Blocking prospect, though some analysts say Lucas has some quickness. But I've seen Lucas in some mocks prior to the Draft rated as a possible third-rounder. And he's a more versatile prospect as he can play either guard or center. This guy may be a sleeper to watch in TC who has the potential to help the Texans ?

Porky
05-10-2007, 10:31 AM
One thing I have consistently been saying is that our UDFA class is among the best in the NFL, and Lucas fits in with that. Darius Walker just makes it that much better. Most of the publications I have looked at had Lucas going between rounds 4-6, so clearly, he was considered draftable by most observers.

Look for a few of these UDFA's to at least push for a roster spot. I'm most enthused about Lucas, Walker, Cory Anderson, and Jon Abbate. I think these are the guys who can legitimitely push for a roster spot on the main 53 man roster. If not, they are easily PS material.

All of the other FA's all have no better than an outside chance at a roster spot, but a good chance of making the PS. I think out of that group, Degrate, Zabransky, and Brandon Mitchell have the best chance to be on the 53 man roster at some point during the season or next season.

One thing is for sure, some players will be cut this year, whether rookies or vets, who will find roster spots on other teams and contribute. We may not have superior depth yet, but we are getting closer to having quality depth than at any time in our history.

Texans_Chick
05-10-2007, 11:01 AM
One thing I have consistently been saying is that our UDFA class is among the best in the NFL, and Lucas fits in with that. Darius Walker just makes it that much better. Most of the publications I have looked at had Lucas going between rounds 4-6, so clearly, he was considered draftable by most observers.

Look for a few of these UDFA's to at least push for a roster spot. I'm most enthused about Lucas, Walker, Cory Anderson, and Jon Abbate. I think these are the guys who can legitimitely push for a roster spot on the main 53 man roster. If not, they are easily PS material.

All of the other FA's all have no better than an outside chance at a roster spot, but a good chance of making the PS. I think out of that group, Degrate, Zabransky, and Brandon Mitchell have the best chance to be on the 53 man roster at some point during the season or next season.

One thing is for sure, some players will be cut this year, whether rookies or vets, who will find roster spots on other teams and contribute. We may not have superior depth yet, but we are getting closer to having quality depth than at any time in our history.


Kubiak/Smiths' stated goals were to improve competition in camp and improve team depth. So I guess this is part of it.

Second Honeymoon
05-10-2007, 11:36 AM
i endorse this signing. too bad there arent any decent FS talent in the UDFA pool. If this guy can play Center for us, I think we will have addressed every need our team had except bonafide #2 WR and a bonafide FS. count me as a happy guy.

Lucky
05-10-2007, 01:03 PM
But inside at guard-center area Enoka Lucas, even though an UFA, may actually be a better prospect than Kubiaks long-time family friend Kasey Studdard, who was drafted in the 6th round by the Texans.
What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.

phantom17
05-10-2007, 01:52 PM
With a name like ENOKA.... it sounds good to me! Plus I really like the way Mr. Smith is shaping & molding this team to become competative! Now if we can get Spencer back this yr healthy...or next season, this team has a chance of becoming special! SIGH! Ever since the "choke city" ROCKETS got bump off in the 1st Rd.......again! I'm really looking forward to Texans' football!!!!:cowboy1: :pirate: :texflag:

The Pencil Neck
05-10-2007, 02:23 PM
What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.

Because he's not from UT?

:stirpot:

nunusguy
05-10-2007, 02:49 PM
What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.
I've heard Lance Zierlin, SR 610 morning guy, talk about this guy since he's been signed and he said he knew the Texans shelled out a very handsome price for him (as far as UFAs comp gos), and it was because Lucas had real potential and a lot of teams were interested in signing him and he (Zierlin) thought Lucas would make the team at the expense of one of the vets (Flannagan or McKinney). IMO Zierlin is fairly knowledgible about NFL talent, but in particular he's a virtual insider on OLine talent since his own father is the OLine coach of the Pittsburg Steelers. Lucas also has the versatility to be a swing player since he's got experience at guard.
I've read a lot of things about Lucas since we picked him up, and he was highly thought by a lot of sources, and one even thought he could go in the third round. But he had an excellent college career at Oregan. OK, none of that is very specific. And the big question obviously is why did 32 teams not Draft him ? Fair enough. I dunno ? But I found no history of character issues, but he has had some knee problems which is certainly not good.
Oh, one more thing. I really don't think the Texans would have signed Studdard without the family connection, whereas their interest in Lucas was obviously genuine.

Porky
05-10-2007, 03:04 PM
What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.

To add to Nunusguy, FWIW, every draft magazine I looked at, and online source I can find has Lucas being drafted ahead of Studdard. I haven't watched enough film on them to really answer the question totally, but there must be a reason for that.

Lucky
05-10-2007, 05:12 PM
Oh, one more thing. I really don't think the Texans would have signed Studdard without the family connection, whereas their interest in Lucas was obviously genuine.
I think if a team spends a draft choice a player, their interest in genuine. I'm not sure what the Texans spent on a signing bonus for Lucas ($25K-$30K?), but it will pale in comparison to what Studdard receives (around $150K bonus for a 3-year contract). Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?

As far as what the internet draft gurus thought before the draft, well that's why they're internet draft gurus and not NFL GMs. We don't know whether Studdard would have been selected in the draft, had the Texans not took him in the 6th. We do know that Lucas went undrafted through 7 rounds. So the Texans answer right now to the question would be, no. Lucas is not a better prospect than Studdard. And it's the Texans opinion that counts.

76Texan
05-10-2007, 05:15 PM
Oregon's paper says that Lucas has the desire and intensity.

However John Murphy (Yahoo Sports) reported this from the East-West game:

Enoka Lucas, center/guard, Oregon Lucas looked better in the practices as he lost his man to a quick inside move a few times in the game.

By the way, he also reported this:
Jacoby Jones, wide receiver, Lane College (Tenn.) He showed terrific acceleration in the open field and caught the ball very well.

BSofA04
05-10-2007, 05:17 PM
Lucas isn't exactly a speedy lineman but his services will add great depth to the Texans. Great job Rick and Gary! Linemen, LB's and RB's are going to have a lot of competition this upcoming season. Excellent.

Specnatz
05-10-2007, 05:21 PM
I think if a team spends a draft choice a player, their interest in genuine. I'm not sure what the Texans spent on a signing bonus for Lucas ($25K-$30K?), but it will pale in comparison to what Studdard receives (around $150K bonus for a 3-year contract). Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?

As far as what the internet draft gurus thought before the draft, well that's why they're internet draft gurus and not NFL GMs. We don't know whether Studdard would have been selected in the draft, had the Texans not took him in the 6th. We do know that Lucas went undrafted through 7 rounds. So the Texans answer right now to the question would be, no. Lucas is not a better prospect than Studdard. And it's the Texans opinion that counts.

Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.

Lucky
05-10-2007, 06:13 PM
Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.
I got that off houstonprofootball.com's (http://www.houstonprofootball.com/cap.html) unofficial salary cap page. I saw that the Texans 6th round pick in '06, Wali Lundy, had a bonus allocation for the '07 season for $50K. Since Lundy signed a 3 year contract and the bonus was spread out over the length of the contract, I thought Lundy's signing bonus = 3 X $50K = $150K. But, their '06 & '08 cap pages show Lundy's bonus allocation at $25K. That would probably mean that Lundy's signing bonus was $75K, and he earned a workout or incentive bonus of $25K in '06, payable in '07. Lundy might get the same if he makes the team in '07. So could Studdard in '08, if he makes the team

The highest signing bonus I can remember the Texans giving to a UDFA is $25K. That could go up, since the rookie pool was increased. Maybe not. If you have a link that shows an UDFA getting more than that, I would be interested to see it. Still, $75K (plus the potential for more in roster bonuses) is 3x more than the top UDFA's get.

nunusguy
05-10-2007, 06:15 PM
Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?


Do you seriously believe that sentiment was not a part of the teams owners reasons to decide to make a far greater financial commitment to a former Texan now on the roster of a certain NFC South team ?

Lucky
05-10-2007, 06:18 PM
Do you seriously believe that sentiment was not a part of the teams owners reasons to decide to make a far greater financial commitment to a former Texan now on the roster of a certain NFC South team ?

First, stay on topic. Bob McNair had nothing to do with this pick.

Kubiak and Smith are football guys. It's absolutely ludicrous to suggest that selecting Studdard was anything but a football decision.

Second Honeymoon
05-10-2007, 06:20 PM
Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.

no doubt. if you were to take a poll of agents asking if they would rather go undrafted or get drafted in the mid-6th round or later. You would probably find that the majority of agents would rather have their client go undrafted. You get similar money initially without being a team's property for 3+ years. You can choose your destination which can help your situation as well as your bank account (playoff bonuses and your 'next' contract).

infantrycak
05-10-2007, 06:27 PM
You get similar money initially

As Lucky demonstrated, not true.

without being a team's property for 3+ years.

You aren't anyone's property for 3+ years unless you sign a contract--you can sit out the year and go back into the draft. This is silly--you won't find a player out there that would rather go undrafted.

Lucky
05-10-2007, 06:32 PM
You get similar money initially without being a team's property for 3+ years.
That's not correct. A team that signs and keeps an undrafted free agent can hold his rights exclusively for 3 seasons, and will have restricted rights for a 4th year. The picking your team aspect is correct, and that's why some players are OK with not being taken late. Plus if the UDFA is successful, ala Antonio Gates, he can hold out of camp without penalty because he's not under a multiyear contract.

But that's not really the question. Why would Lucas be considered a better prospect than Studdard? Because Lance Zierlein said so? Maybe a better question would be, "Can Enoka Lucas win a roster spot?" Maybe. But, clearly the Texans thought Kasey Studdard was the better prospect on April 29th. I don't see why that has changed.

ledzeppelin229
05-10-2007, 07:01 PM
If Studdard wasn't also a desired prospect in addition to being a friend, the Texans wouldn't have bothered drafting him - just pick him up as a UDFA as a favor and see what he can do. I don't believe for one second that they simply took him higher for an excuse to give him more money.

We saw David Anderson in a similar situation last year, and people questioned if he could play or if it was just a favor. I thought he did pretty well when he got his chances, so hopefully Studdard turns out the same way.

nunusguy
05-10-2007, 07:44 PM
First, stay on topic. Bob McNair had nothing to do with this pick.

Kubiak and Smith are football guys. It's absolutely ludicrous to suggest that selecting Studdard was anything but a football decision.
I wasn't talking about drafting Carr so much as I was talking about the multi-million $ decision last year to pick up the option in his contract for his retention. And I think its highly relevant because we're talking about personnel decisions in the Texans org that mix money and personal choices.
Afterall the Carr-VY situation of last year is arguably the most important personnel decision(s) in the teams history to date, and we all know of McNairs personal affection for Carr and we'd be nieve to say that wasn't a factor in the way things played out.
As far as the Studdard pick, in Kubiaks explanation about the pick he devoted more time to the kids family and how wonderful they were than anything about Studdards qualifications to be drafted by the Texans, which are very suspect to say the least when you know and consider what kind of player the
Texans look for in their OLinemen. And given that this was a sixth round pick,
they were probably drafting primarily on need and I honestly believe would have taken another OLineman if not for Kubiaks friendship with this players family. IMO its the most logical explanation for this choice.
Its really not a big deal, but it will be one of many interesting little sideshows to see how these 2 guys do in camp when it begins ?

nunusguy
05-10-2007, 07:52 PM
If Studdard wasn't also a desired prospect in addition to being a friend, the Texans wouldn't have bothered drafting him - just pick him up as a UDFA as a favor and see what he can do. I don't believe for one second that they simply took him higher for an excuse to give him more money.

At the very least, the Studdard familys friendship with the HC probably made the son a "first among equals" in options for the Texans pick.

ledzeppelin229
05-10-2007, 11:07 PM
At the very least, the Studdard familys friendship with the HC probably made the son a "first among equals" in options for the Texans pick.

Whats wrong with a "first among equals" approach? He obviously knows the kid and at the very least has more insight into his character and work ethic than players he only just met at the combine/pro days.

Bottom line, in the 6th round I doubt they passed on a more highly talented player to take a family friend.

Lucky
05-11-2007, 11:55 AM
As far as the Studdard pick, in Kubiaks explanation about the pick he devoted more time to the kids family and how wonderful they were than anything about Studdards qualifications to be drafted by the Texans, which are very suspect to say the least when you know and consider what kind of player the
Texans look for in their OLinemen.
I'm not going to comment on the Carr/McNair stuff, because there is no correlation in regards to this topic. I'm also not going to parse Kubiak's comments regarding Studdard on draft day. At least he did make a comment about Kasey. What has he said about Lucas? (crickets)

If we could somehow turn this into something about football, describe what type of lineman you think the Texans look for. And how does Lucas fit that criteria more than Studdard?

aj.
05-11-2007, 06:11 PM
First, stay on topic. Bob McNair had nothing to do with this pick.

Kubiak and Smith are football guys. It's absolutely ludicrous to suggest that selecting Studdard was anything but a football decision.

Just like Kubiak's insider info on David Anderson had nothing to do with that pick. yeahriight....

Hmmmm, I wonder if my comment was on topic. I'd hate to get 'moderated' like the other guy ...

Just in case .... Forgive me mods almighty for I may have sinned.

Porky
05-11-2007, 06:25 PM
Just like Kubiak's insider info on David Anderson had nothing to do with that pick. yeahriight....

Hmmmm, I wonder if my comment was on topic. I'd hate to get 'moderated' like the other guy ...

Just in case .... Forgive me mods almighty for I may have sinned.

You're first point is a good one. I think Lucky is a little niave on this subject. I don't know that they would draft a guy based on familarity or family connections alone, but if it's close, that could be a tie-breaker.

You're next two points make no sense to me. Other than a comment to keep the thread on point, can you clarify what you mean? :shrug:

aj.
05-11-2007, 06:48 PM
I'd clarify for you but I'm afraid my answer wouldn't relate to the topic at hand. So let me find the proper place to share those wandering thoughts and then I'll elaborate.

Back to Lucas and Studdard.

76Texan
05-11-2007, 07:21 PM
I'd clarify for you but I'm afraid my answer wouldn't relate to the topic at hand. So let me find the proper place to share those wandering thoughts and then I'll elaborate.

Back to Lucas and Studdard.LM.... wait now I have to suspress the laugh once again, ahem back to topic.
We can make a case that it's rather strange as to the lack of Aggies connection. Also, Studdard was projected to go in the later rounds. So the fact that the Texans pick him is "justified".

Which one is a better prospect, I dunno. IMO, both have positives.

But one more thing worth mentioning, we don't see enough to know which one is more adept at the blocking scheme Kubiak is running.
Who can take care of the priority in the gap instead of just engaging a blocker straight on.

Now if a guy can take the blocker totally out of the play, we probably don't care how he does it. :pirate:

nunusguy
05-21-2007, 09:59 AM
"Studdard will also be making a transition, as much of Texas' scheme was based on straight ahead drive blocking. Studdard may not appear to be the greatest fit for Houston's zone blocking scheme, but his dependability and versatility (some view him as a future center) makes him a good pick, as well. He may never prove a great fit in this scheme, but he's a player that if forced into the action early on, could hold his own due to his toughness and experience. "
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"Rang: Enoka Lucas will make this team. Only an injury red-flag that popped up at the Combine pushed him out of the draft. He has the ability to contribute early in his career at any of the three interior positions along the offensive line."
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http://www.houstonprofootball.com/draft/
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As a follow to our Lucas vs. Studdard thread in the form of a post-Draft analysis by a Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, he has some comments about the 2 players. The article is found on another local Texans website, HPF.com.
Is it a possible bias on my part, or does Rang just seem more positive about Lucas in his brief comments about the 2 players ? This of course is just one mans opinion.

beerlover
05-21-2007, 01:40 PM
I would expect both Lucas & Studdard to make the team even if it means cutting someone already on the roster, or rather a holdover from last years roster. with both of these outstanding young offensive lineman the Texans could have actually solidified the interior of the line to go along with Pitts. last year Kubiak picked up his tackles, Winston/Spencer so the future offensive line is set with wildcard & most athleticly gifted Brandon Frye developing in the wings.

kiwitexansfan
05-21-2007, 03:24 PM
I would expect both Lucas & Studdard to make the team even if it means cutting someone already on the roster, or rather a holdover from last years roster. with both of these outstanding young offensive lineman the Texans could have actually solidified the interior of the line to go along with Pitts. last year Kubiak picked up his tackles, Winston/Spencer so the future offensive line is set with wildcard & most athleticly gifted Brandon Frye developing in the wings.

You paint a very rosy picture Beerlover. I really hope you are right. If we have built our long term line with nothing higher than 3rd rounders that woud be awesome and in 2 years too (not counting Pitts of course).